An Online newsletter of
“The Andy Griffith Show” Rerun Watchers Club (TAGSRWC)
Welcome to our second issue for 2017! There's lots of news since our last issue. We'll start with some merchandise ideas from Weaver's. We've recently added a great CD and we've also brought back some old favorites that we haven't carried in a few years, including two Don Knotts movies.
We're also expecting more new items in the next few weeks, so keep an eye on our Weaver's Department Store site and future issues of this newsletter for updates!
**** Merchandise Update ****
An item we're particularly pleased to offer is a compilation of 45 tunes from three acclaimed Dillards albums (Back Porch Bluegrass, Live Almost and Pickin' and Fiddlin'), all on a new 2-CD set. Check out the list of songs (including many that the Dillards played as the Darlings in Mayberry) HERE at Weaver's.
On the video front, we've added How to Frame a Figg and Private Eyes back to our selection of DVDs. Private Eyes not only stars Don Knotts and Tim Conway (and the Biltmore Estate), but it also features Bernard Fox, Mayberry's Malcolm Merriweather.
We also have a great deal on a collection of four Herbie the Love Bug movies. One stars Don Knotts (and again features Bernard Fox) and one stars Ken Berry.
With short-sleeve weather finally back (hooray!), what better time to shop for some new Mayberry T-shirts? We have 36 different designs to choose from.
Here are two new designs in cool cream colored shirts we're offering, along with two other favorites in gray:
|Suit yourself to a Spring Tee!|
Two of our most popular T-shirts are available in Toddler sizes, so that even the youngest fans can show their Mayberry spirit. We have both our "Aw, Pa" and Newest Nip It designs in Toddler 2, 3 and 4 sizes. And what makes them irresistible (besides a cute kid wearing them, of course!) is the smaller price, just $16, compared to $20 for adult sizes (also a great deal!).
Miss Crump's Spring Reading
We have all kinds of great books about Mayberry that are perfect for relaxed reading--perhaps on a park bench on a balmy spring day. Or just get a nice cool glass of lemonade or sweet tea, sit in your rocker or porch swing or under a shady tree, and sit back and read interesting things about Mayberry.
If you nod off for a snooze now and then while you're at it, that's O.K. Floyd even recommends it. And if you work up an appetite after all that heavy reading, we've got a wide variety of Mayberry and pop culture cookbooks, too.
You'll find these items and much more, including CDs, DVDs, collectibles, tin signs, artwork, rare books, blankets, and items for vehicles online at weaversdepartmentstore.com. (Or just go to www.imayberry.com and click on one of the orange and blue Weaver's buttons at the top.)
The Andy Griffith Museum, featuring the late Emmett Forrest's amazing collection of Andy Griffith memorabilia, is open daily in Mount Airy, N.C. For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* Apr. 20 and 21: A full contingent of Mayberry tribute artists perform for the 11th Annual Eagles' Wings Golf Tournament at Indian Hills Country Club and 12th Annual Eagles' Wings Dinner and Auction at the Bryant Conference Center in Tuscaloosa, Ala. For more info, visit www.eagleswingsoftuscaloosa.org.
* Apr. 21: Betty Lynn greets fans at the Andy Griffith Museum 12:30-3:30 p.m. She will have autographed 8 x 10 photos available ($10). For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* Apr. 26-29: Margaret Kerry is the first star with Mayberry connections to be confirmed as a guest for this year's Missouri Cherry Blossom Festival in Marshfield. Maggie Peterson and Morgan Brittany have been regulars at the festival in recent years, so watch this space for updates on the line-up. Or visit the festival website at www.cherryblossomfest.com.
*Apr. 29: David "Mayberry Deputy" Browning performs at the 19th Annual Gibson County Dinner & Auction fundraiser at the Carl Perkins Center in Humboldt, Tenn. For info, visit www.carlperkinscenter.org.
* May 6: Maggie Peterson and Rodney Dillard and his Dillards band are joined by David "Mayberry Deputy" Browning for a presentation of their popular Mayberry Moments show in Duluth, Ga. For info, visit www.eddieowenpresents.com.
* May 6: 30th Annual Uncle Jesse Big Bass Classic (founded by Denver Pyle) in Paris, Tex. For more info, visit: www.unclejessefishing.com.
* May 19: Betty Lynn greets fans at the Andy Griffith Museum 12:30-3:30 p.m. She will have autographed 8 x 10 photos available ($10). For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* May 19-21: Mayberry in the Midwest in Danville, Ind. Mayberry stars Maggie Peterson and Ronnie Schell are joined by many of the Mayberry tribute artists and Dixie Griffith (Andy's daughter) for a weekend of family entertainment that also includes a parade, the Mayberry Derby, the Mayberry Squad Car Nationals, and streets full of vendors. For updates, follow the 2017 festival's Facebook page.
* May 20: Missouri Boatride (featuring Dean Webb on mandolin) performs a free concert as part of the Arts in the Park program at the Visitors Center at Wilson's Creek National Battlefield (Republic, Mo.) at 7 p.m.
* June 10: Mayberry 101 author Neal Brower presents a lecture on the "Wedding Bells for Aunt Bee" episode of TAGS, starting at 2 p.m., in the Andy Griffith Museum Theatre in Mount Airy, N.C. Admission is included with an Andy Griffith Museum admission ($6). Visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* June 16: Betty Lynn greets fans at the Andy Griffith Museum 12:30-3:30 p.m. She will have autographed 8 x 10 photos available ($10). For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* June 29-30: Roland White and his band perform at the Starvy Creek Bluegrass Festival in Conway, Mo.
* July 8: Mayberry 101 author Neal Brower presents a lecture on the "Convicts-at- Large" episode of TAGS, starting at 2 p.m., in the Andy Griffith Museum Theatre in Mount Airy, N.C. Admission is included with an Andy Griffith Museum admission ($6). Visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* July 21: Betty Lynn greets fans at the Andy Griffith Museum 12:30-3:30 p.m. She will have autographed 8 x 10 photos available ($10). For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* July 21-22: Coinciding with the weekend of Betty Lynn's July meet-and-greet at the Andy Griffith Museum, the Mayberry Meet-Up will be held in Mount Airy, N.C., this weekend.
This informal gathering is being coordinated by Allan "Floyd" Newsome as a chance for fans to gather and enjoy Mount Airy during a quieter time of year than with the wall-to-wall activities and crowds of Mayberry Days (also not to be missed!) in September.
There's usually a loose schedule of planned activities that folks can pick and choose from. It's mostly just a chance to hang out and relax in Mount Airy with fellow visitors and local friends. Click this link for the Mayberry Motor Inn website for room reservation info. The motel and its gazebo serve as the home base for weekend. Details TBA soon.
* Aug. 5: Mayberry Night in Troy, N.C., starring Maggie Peterson, the VW Boys and most of the Mayberry tribute artists in a fundraiser show for the local DARE program. Showtime at the James Garner Center is 7 p.m. Reserved seating is $20, General Admission tickets are $15 and admission for kids ages 6-12 is $10. For advance tickets or info, contact Jeff Branch at firstname.lastname@example.org or (704) 985-6987.
* Aug. 12: Mayberry 101 author Neal Brower presents a lecture on the "Prisoner of Love" episode of TAGS, starting at 2 p.m., in the Andy Griffith Museum Theatre in Mount Airy, N.C. Admission is included with an Andy Griffith Museum admission ($6). Visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* Aug. 18: Betty Lynn greets fans at the Andy Griffith Museum 12:30-3:30 p.m. She will have autographed 8 x 10 photos available ($10). For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* Sept. 15: Betty Lynn greets fans at the Andy Griffith Museum 12:30-3:30 p.m. She will have autographed 8 x 10 photos available ($10). For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* Sept. 20-24: 28th Annual Mayberry Days in Mount Airy, N.C. Mayberry stars already confirmed include Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou), Rodney Dillard (and the current Dillards band), Ronnie Schell (two episodes and also Duke Slater on "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.), Margaret Kerry (Bess Muggins and Helen Scobey), and Karen Knotts.
Also booked to perform are the VW Boys, Michael Hoover and his "Memories of Elvis" show, the Malpass Brothers, Balsam Range, The Tams, The Lisemby Family, and James Gregory ("the funniest man in America"). Neal Brower will also be presenting his popular Professor Brower's Lecture.
Many more details TBA. For more info, visit www.mayberrydays.org. Tickets are already available for several performances and activities.
* Sept. 23: Missouri Boatride (with Dean Webb on mandolin) performs at the Carl Junction Bluegrass Festival in Carl Junction, Mo. (just a few miles northwest of Joplin).
* Oct. 19: Karen Knotts performs "Tied Up in Knotts" at 7 p.m. at the Gaslight Music Hall in Oro Valley, Ariz. For more info, visit www.gaslightmusichall.com.
* Oct. 20: Betty Lynn greets fans at the Andy Griffith Museum 12:30-3:30 p.m. She will have autographed 8 x 10 photos available ($10). For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* Oct. 22: Karen Knotts gives the keynote speech "Don Knotts Rides Again" at the Wild Bunch Film Festival in Wilcox, Ariz. For info, visit www.thewildbunchfilmfestival.com.
* Oct. 24-29: Margaret Kerry (Bess Muggins and Helen Scobey) is the special guest star for Cruise to Mayberry 12. This year's cruise is for five days aboard Carnival's Ecstasy, departing Charleston, S.C., and traveling to Freeport and Nassau in the Bahamas.
Margaret will be joined by the usual cruise company of Mayberry tribute artists and musical entertainers. For more info, visit www.allaboutcruisesnc.net or call 1-800-832-7993.
**** News of Cast & Crew ****
Ron Howard has landed the deal to produce and direct the film adaptation of Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance's best-selling memoir about growing up in Appalachia.
Sources at Fife Realty also tell us that Ron has another of his homes on the market. This time it's his apartment in the Eldorado building overlooking Central Park on Manhattan's Upper West Side.
The asking price for the 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath unit with a private elevator is $12.5 million. (Or may we recommend an Opie T-shirt at Weaver's as an affordable alternative?)
Ron and Imagine partner Brian Grazer were featured speakers at Variety's annual entertainment marketing conference in Beverly Hills last month.
Ron was also in Austin, Tex., last month for the SXSW festival. Top on Ron's agenda these days is talking about "Genius," the series Ron and Imagine are producing for the National Geographic Channel. The first season is about Albert Einstein. Ron directed the first episode, which premieres on April 25.
And Ron made a cameo appearance as himself as part of a pivotal storyline in the final episode of NBC's hit new series "This Is Us" that aired in March.
Betty Lynn celebrated St. Patrick's Day by greeting fans at the Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy. Even folks wearing green were still pinching themselves that they were getting to visit with Betty. Lucky folks indeed! She'll back again on April 21.
The Dillards are currently handling their own bookings, as well as Rodney Dillard's related Mayberry Moments, Mayberry Values and Mayberry Christmas shows. For info, contact them at email@example.com.
LeRoy McNees was on a mission trip in Guatemala in March. And you can be sure that bringing his Dobro and singing some bluegrass gospel music were part of his mission.
Less fun for LeRoy was having a neighbor's gazebo blow away in one of the California storms back in February. The gazebo landed on LeRoy's motor home in his driveway. There was quite a bit of damage, but fixable.
Margaret Kerry took a tumble last month, but she thankfully escaped with only a few bruises and scrapes. She was immediately up and about and raring to go for her book signing in Los Angeles just a few days later. And she is just back from ComiCon in Philadelphia last week and a big Easter Egg Hunt event in California this past weekend. Go Margaret go!
The 20th Annual George Lindsey UNA Film Festival was another big hit last month in Florence, Ala. George's alma mater, the University of North Alabama (aka UNA) is the process of trying to complete funding of the George Lindsey Film and Media Endowed Scholarship at the university. It is an effort that TAGSRWC, Weaver's and other Mayberry groups and individuals have been supporting.
As the endowment approaches its funding deadline later this year, we'll be more "pushy" about creating awareness and support for this worthy cause in honor of our late friend George. For now, here's a link where you can make a donation: www.una.edu/alumni/georgelindseyscholarship.
Karen Knotts (daughter of Don) has already had several of performances of her popular one-woman "Tied Up in Knotts" show this year. She started close to home in California and then had a highly successful show in Iowa. And just last week, she did two shows in Ohio.
It is with both sadness and an automatic grin that we note the passing of Don Rickles, who guest-starred as Newton Monroe in "The Luck of Newton Monroe" (Episode #156 of TAGS) in 1965. He died of kidney failure at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif., on April 6. He was 90.
There are some superb tributes from friends and peers online, as well as thorough obituaries, including this one in The New York Times.
In contrast to the famous insults of his stand-up act, Don Rickles was universally known as one of the nicest, kindest and most beloved people in the entertainment business, or anywhere else, for that matter. That Bob Newhart was his best show-business friend speaks volumes.
Another great friend was the late Aaron Ruben, who created "CPO Sharkey," which starred Don as Chief Petty Officer Otto Sharkey in 37 episodes from 1976 to 1978.
Those who didn't notice the twinkle in Don's eyes as he delivered his famous insults may not have enjoyed his humor as much as those who saw the qualities that earned him the nickname Mr. Warmth, a moniker that was both sarcastic and true.
As with his Newton Monroe, most of us just couldn't help but like Don Rickles whether on or off a stage. Who among us doesn't immediately smile and feel the exuberance of Newton when he discovers that he's a painter?
And whole new generations have grown up loving the voice Don gave to Mr. Potato Head in the animated Toy Story movies.
An ept life indeed, Mr. Rickles. Thanks for all the laughs, you hockey puck you!
**** Mayberry on the Web ****
This TAGSRWC online group is organized and overseen by webmaster Allan “Floyd” Newsome with able assistance from Keith “Col. Harvey” Brown. You can check it out and sign up for free at: http://imayberrycommunity.com.
The iMayberry Community complements our other online activities, including our main www.imayberry.com page, podcasts, Facebook page, online newsletters (such as The eBullet), weaversdepartmentstore.com and chat rooms.
Two Chairs, No Waiting is our weekly podcast of TAGS news, interviews and pretty much whatever happens to be going on in and around Mayberry. It’s hosted by Allan Newsome. Most weeks also include a Mayberry History Lesson from special correspondent Randy Turner.
There’s a new episode every Tuesday (and you can watch and listen live during tapings on Monday evenings). Past episodes are in an online Archives in case you want to listen to or view episodes you’ve missed.
Allan started the podcast in 2008. This week's episode is #422. That's a bunch of great barbershop talk about Mayberry! There’s a lot of info and discussions that you simply won’t find anywhere else, including rare interviews (vintage and new) with cast and crew members of TAGS. And you’ll also find links there to a couple of other outstanding Mayberry-related podcasts.
TAGSRWC’s official page on Facebook now has more than 241,000 friends! You can find us at www.facebook.com/tagsrwc. If you haven’t already dropped by the page, we hope you’ll check it out sometime when you have the chance. We also have lots of links there to Facebook pages of cast members, Mayberry events and TAGSRWC chapters. We invite you to become a TAGSRWC Facebook Friend!
And even Ol' Ben Weaver has his own Facebook page at www.facebook.com/weaversdepartmentstore. Check it out for the latest Mayberry items and merchandise news.
**** Post Note ****
Between issues of our Weaver’s Newsletter, keep up with the happenings in Mayberry with the daily “Who’s Been Messin’ Up the Bulletin Board?” Digest. It’s a free subscriber list that consists entirely of comments, news flashes, and questions and answers from subscribers. You can sign up for that list by going to the “Mailing Lists” link at www.tagsrwc.com.
TAGSRWC also publishes The eBullet in alternate months to Weaver’s Newsletter. The eBullet is the online successor to our longtime printed newsletter, The Bullet. Like Weaver’s Newsletter, The eBullet is free. It includes some of the same news as Weaver’s Newsletter, but generally with more features and depth and a little less emphasis on merchandise news. To sign up, go to: www.tagsrwc.com/ebullet.
TAGSRWC’s other main vehicle for Mayberry information is simply our website at www.tagsrwc.com (and its sister site www.iMayberry.com). Both sites have extensive content and links for just about everything a Mayberry fan might be looking for.
The next issue of Weaver’s Newsletter is scheduled for June, and the next eBullet will be out in May.